Tea: Jipin Baimudan (Exceptional Grade White Peony)
Type: Fuding White Tea
Harvest: Spring 2021
Region: Panxi, Fuding, Fujian
Producers: Yuanming Tea Garden
This year, due to a short growing season with a fair bit of temperamental rain in Fuding, the overall yield for full sun-dried Baimudan was relatively low. Thus the prices for white teas in 2021 were higher than previous years. This is one of the interesting things about sourcing tea; the year, the weather, and the location all have a huge impact on the tea in the cup.
The wet leaves exude an aroma of sweet grass and crushed flowers. The liquid brew starts out very clear, almost white but for the suspended down, as the brews continue the tea finds its stride in a thick and oily gold. When brewed hot with boiling water, the mouthfeel is thick and oily, though still not bitter or astringent. When brewed at cooler temperatures (near 85 or 90 degrees) the sweetness and floral notes begin to come out. The aroma on the lid and in the empty cup is one of sweet flowers, slight spice, and light vegetation. This very clean and refreshing tea is one of our top favorites to drink all through the year, fresh baimudan would certainly be our one and only if we could only choose one.
Our Baimudan, or White Peony, is a thickly vegetal early pick of white tea from Panxi Village in Northern Fujian China. The pick is a Jipin Baimudan, meaning Exceptional grade of White Peony. This is one of the three main grades of Baimudan: Baimudan Wang (king white peony) consists of almost entirely buds and small leaves, Baimudan Jipin (exceptional grade white peony) consists of one bud and one or two leaves, while Baimudan (white peony) consists of one bud and two or even three leaves! This tea was harvested before the Qingming holiday which falls on April 4th. The pick largely consists of long fuzzy buds and one or two equally fuzzy leaves. In China, only the dabaihao varietal from Fujian can be made into genuine white tea, and it is this characteristic downy hair on the leaves and thick buds that make the varietal easily distinguishable.